Keep From Backsliding – again!

Bill Brinkworth

If there is a point at which a Christian can say “I used to do” some spiritual feat that they are not doing any longer, chances are they are backslidden. They are “slidden” down or away from the spiritual height, they were once at. Some of the common “I used to do’s” include: I used to attend church, or read my Bible, or have a prayer life, or go on visitation, or teach a Sunday school class, or fast, or have a closer relationship with the Lord than I do now, or … and on and on the list can go. Everyone, if they are honest, has been in a backslidden condition more than once in their life.

Sometimes, not only can an individual be farther away from God than they were in the past, but also a nation or people can. Such was the case with the people of Israel, as can be read in the book of Nehemiah.

The main center of Israel’s worship, Jerusalem, was deserted, and in disarray in Nehemiah’s day. No longer did its temple host sacrifices and worshipping of God. The temple was destroyed, as were the city’s walls and gates. Streets were cluttered with debris. No longer was the city needed for worship, because the people were backslidden away from their Creator.

God raised up a man, Nehemiah, who had the burden and fortitude to rebuild the center for worship. It was not easy rebuilding the city. Individuals opposed him. Government opposed him. Not only was the building difficult, but it was a dangerous undertaking.

As hopeless as the situation first appeared, there were others that quickly joined him in the battle to return the city back to God. The people came out and joined him in the reconstruction. As enemies increased, the rebuilding became more difficult. There were even times when they built with one arm and weilded a weapon with the other to protect themselves. The task did get completed. The place for worship was repaired and ready to be used.

As in any “backslidden” condition, it is hard to return to where one once was. Reconstruction can also be more difficult than the original “construction” in an individual’s life. When a people get it in their heart to return to where they once were with God, it is not easy to do it; as Nehemiah could surely agree with. The only way out of the backslidden condition is to do hard work, as did Nehemiah and the other Israelites.

After one has returned to the level he had once been at, there is still danger of backsliding again. Nehemiah knew this and after the city was rebuilt, he took several steps to make it as hard as possible for the same disarray to happen in his people’s lives and their worship.

There is no way out of a backslidden condition without first doing the hard work to reconstruct what is broken in your life. After the sin is stopped and avoided, and all attempt is made to do what you used to do, the battle is not over. There must be certain things done so you do not get back to where you previously had been. We can learn some preventative measures from returning to a backslidden condition by following what Nehemiah had his people do after they got the city back to what it was supposed to be. These measures included:

To be a Christian, one must be saved from His sins by trusting in the finished work Jesus did on the cross. When we accept His payment for our sins, we have God’s promise that we will go to heaven. As a Christian, we can follow and obey God every single day of our lives, but we will always have some weaknesses that we all have to battle the entirety of our life. That weakness is our sin nature. We may be forgiven, but in a heartbeat, we can follow our sin nature and not God. When we do obey God, we please Him. Disobedience will cause us to backslide from close fellowship with God. There is always hope for a return to a close relationship with God. One can leave the self-life and return to the spirit-led life and do all he can to avoid backsliding again!

Christian, are you backslidden? Come on home!


This article was featured in The Bible View #226.

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